George Bush's name is being tossed around as Ronald Reagan steps up his search for a running mate. Sen. Howard Baker, himself mentioned for a Reagan ticket, was one who recommends Bush as "particularly qualified." The Senator also suggested GOP national chairman Bill Brock of Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Baker has counted himself out of a possible Reagan ticket -- or almost out. He would accept the position if he were needed. "But I do not expect that . . . and I have signaled to Governor Reagan that I do not want that to happen," he said.
Reagan campaign planners are drafting a nationwide survey probing voters on what qualities are important in a vice-president. Among the things they want to learn: how would voters respond to a woman vice-president; and who would be the voters' favorite for the No. 2 spot on this year's GOP ticket.m
A spokesman for Gerald Ford denied any possibility of a Reagan-Ford ticket, after a report Thursday in the Baltimore Sun that Reagan campaign officials were considering the match-up.
Even after Carter victories in the Maryland and Nebraska primaries last week, furthering his almost 2-to-1 lead in delegates over Sen. Edward Kennedy, many of the press pundits were struck with the "softness" of Carter support.
While the Carter campaign talked of finishing Kennedy off in Pennsylvania four weeks and seven primaries ago, Kennedy's staggering campaign has yet to be dealt a knockout blow. Carter won both in Maryland and Nebraska without cornering a majority of the vote. Both victories were diluted by a 10 percent uncommitted vote, and in both states Mr. Kennedy trailed nine points behind the President, 38 percent to 47.
But with or without momentum, the Carter campaign is rolling fast toward nomination. It has won 1,524 of the 1,666 delegates needed for a first ballot nomination at the convention.m
"There's one thing to be said for it," Ronald Reagan remarked to reporters in Michigan on competition from George Bush for the GOP nomination, "It gets your attention -- all of you -- and if [the Republican race] were all over we might have to be standing on our head or something to get you to write about us."
John Anderson is still haunting George Bush in Republican primaries.
Although Congressman Anderson pulled his hat from the GOP ring in April, his name still appears on many state primary ballots where the deadline for removing one's name had passed.
So many voters opted for Anderson in the Maryland primary that Bush campaigners feel they might have won if the absent Anderson had not still been on the ballot.
Anderson is also on the ballots in the Michigan and Oregon primaries May 20. Josie Martin, Bush's campaign coordinator in Oregon, says, "If Anderson gets 15 percent of the vote, we're shut out."
In Michigan, the state Republican committee filed an unsuccessful emergency lawsuit to have Anderson's name removed.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to foil Anderson's independent bid.Les Francis, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, said the party was studying "a range of options," including lawsuits to bar the congressman's access to some state ballots.m
No one has accused Jimmy Carter of being a president only a mother could love , but perhaps only a mother could campaign with the unswerving conviction Lillian Carter mustered in Ohio last week.
"If Jimmy did it, it's what he should do," she told reporters after they told her that Haitians were being sent back to Haiti from the shores of Florida.
She also showed a maternal bent in her advice to Senator Kennedy the same day: "Teddy, why don't you go home and rest? You look tired."
"Government regulations, government restrictions, punitive taxes and a lack of capital" were the culprits Ronald Reagan named for Detroit's failure to keep pace with the Japanese in the auto industry. And he blamed Jimmy Carter, as the faltering automakers took center stage this past week in the campaign for the Michigan primary.
While Carter discussed industry problems with automakers at the White House, and arranged for further consultations, Reagan was in Michigan accusing the Carter administration of "a concerted campaign to cripple the American auto industry."
Bush, also campaigning in Michigan, said he would limit Japanese imports if the Japanese did not do so voluntarily. Reagan differed, saying "protectionism is a two-way street."